Fun Facts About The Masters Tournament!

Thanks for your interest – we’ll get back to you faster than the 17th green on Sunday! In the meantime, here are some fun Masters facts and subsequent facts for you to enjoy!

Excerpt Below Courtesy of the website:

The Masters

Since 1934, the Masters Tournament has been home to some of golf’s greatest moments. Amidst blooming azaleas, towering pines and flowering dogwoods, the first full week of April ushers in a stage unique to golf and to sport. Over four days and 72 holes, the smallest field in major championship golf competes for a chance to capture the Green Jacket and a place in Masters history. Take a journey down Magnolia Lane or stroll through Amen Corner, and explore the iconic traditions, moments and history of Masters Tournament like never before—past and present.

Augusta National Golf Club was founded by Bobby Jones, the legendary amateur champion, and Clifford Roberts, an astute investment banker in New York.  Upon his retirement from championship golf in 1930, Bobby Jones had hoped to realize his dream of building a golf course. Following a brief conversation with Clifford Roberts, with whom Jones had met several times during the mid-1920s, it was decided the Club would be built near Augusta, Georgia, provided a suitable piece of ground was available. Thomas Barrett, Jr., a mutual friend of Jones and Roberts, was consulted and recommended a 365-acre property called Fruitland Nurseries. An option was taken on the property for $70,000. It was decided to establish a national membership for the Club, and Jones proposed Augusta National would be an appropriate name. Construction on the new course began in the first half of 1931 and the course opened in December 1932 with a limited amount of member play. Formal opening took place in January 1933.

Looking to provide a service to golf by hosting a tournament, Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts decided to hold an annual event beginning in 1934. The final decision was made at a meeting in New York at the office of Club member W. Alton Jones. Roberts proposed the event be called the Masters Tournament, but Bobby Jones objected thinking it too presumptuous. The name Augusta National Invitation Tournament was adopted and the title was used for five years until 1939, when Jones relented and the name was officially changed. The first Tournament was held March 22, 1934, and beginning in 1940, the Masters was scheduled each year during the first full week in April.

The Founders

Bobby Jones

Robert Tyre (Bobby) Jones, Jr., was born on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1902, in Atlanta, Georgia. As an amateur golfer, Jones dominated the game from the early 1920s through 1930. Jones won 13 major championships between 1923 – 1930. His record includes five U.S. Amateur Championships, one British Amateur Championship, four U.S. Open Championships and three British Open Championships. In 1926, he was the first man ever to win the Open Championship of each country in the same year. In 1930, Jones accomplished the unprecedented feat of winning golf’s Grand Slam by capturing the British Amateur on the Old Course at St. Andrews, the British Open at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, England, the U.S. Open at Interlachen Country Club in Minneapolis, and the U.S. Amateur at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. In 11 of the last 12 Open Championships he played—nine U.S. Opens and three British Opens— he finished first or second. Jones retired from competitive golf in 1930 at age 28. He came out of retirement only to play annually at the Masters. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974, three years after his death.

Off the course, Jones designed golf clubs; wrote four books, including “Bobby Jones on Golf”; penned hundreds of newspaper articles; and gave instructional performances in several movies. He helped found and make successful the Masters Tournament and Augusta National Golf Club, where he was named President in 1933 and remains President in Perpetuity.

Jones excelled academically as well. He studied engineering at Georgia Tech, earning a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering, and then completed a B.A. in English literature at Harvard. He later entered Emory University to pursue a degree in law, passing the bar exam after his first year of school.

He was married to the former Mary Malone and together they had three children, Clara Malone; Robert T., III; and Mary Ellen. Jones died in 1971 of the spinal disease syringomyelia at age 69.

Clifford Roberts

Clifford Roberts was born on a farm in Morning Sun, Iowa, in 1894. An astute investment banker, Roberts made his mark on Wall Street as a Partner with Reynolds & Company.

He was the co-founder with Bobby Jones of Augusta National Golf Club. Roberts served as Chairman of Augusta National from 1931 through 1976 and was named Chairman in Memoriam after his death in 1977. He was Chairman of the Masters Tournament from 1934 through 1976.

Under his direction, the Masters made numerous innovations that are now commonplace in golf. He changed the locations of perimeter mounds to improve gallery viewing. He was the first to use a series of Leader Boards placed throughout the course. He also devised a system for showing the cumulative score of each player—red numbers for under par, a green zero for par, and green numbers for over par. Roberts played a key role in the first Masters television broadcast on CBS, in 1956, and in many thereafter, working closely with the network.

It was Roberts who in 1948 invited General Dwight Eisenhower to visit Augusta National and who would later become a political and financial advisor to the President. Eisenhower became an active member of the Club. During his lifetime, Roberts received many awards and honors, including service on the PGA Advisory Committee from its inception in 1943 until his death, appointment by the USGA to serve on the Bob Jones Award Selection Committee, and enshrinement in the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1978. He was the author of “The Story of the Augusta National Golf Club,” published in 1976, and a subject of “The Making of the Masters: Cliff Roberts, Augusta National, and Golf’s Most Prestigious Tournament,” published in 1999.


Excerpt Below Courtesy of The Augusta Chronicle:

  • Bob Jones and Clifford Roberts organized the first event, later named the Masters Tournament, at Augusta National in 1934.
  • The Masters Tournament was called the “Augusta National Invitational” for the first five years (1934-1938).
  • The first tournament was held March, 22 1934. Since 1940 however, the Masters was scheduled for the first full week (Sunday – Sunday) in April each year.
  • Horton Smith won the first tournament in 1934.
  • Jack Nicklaus has the most Masters Tournament wins, with six.
  • Jack Nicklaus became the oldest player to win a Masters Tournament, at 46 years, 2 months and 23 days – in 1986.
  •  Tiger Woods was the youngest player to win a Masters Tournament, at 21 years, 3 months and 14 days – in 1997.
  • In 1949, the first Green Jacket was awarded to that year’s Masters champion, Sam Snead.
  • Amen Corner refers to holes No. 11, 12 and 13. In 1958, a Sports Illustrated writer, Herbert Warren Wind, named the second half of hole No. 11, hole No. 12 and the first half of hole No. 13 Amen Corner. This is where the critical action took place that year. He borrowed the name from an old jazz recording called “Shouting at Amen Corner.”
  • Rae’s Creek was named after John Rae. The creek runs in front of the No. 12 green, has a tributary at the No. 13 tee, and passes by the back of the No. 11 green. Rae’s house kept residents safe during Indian attacks. It was the furthest fortress up the Savannah River from Fort Augusta.
  • The pine tree is the most abundant tree at Augusta. Several species grow along the course, including: Loblolly Pines, Shortleaf Pines, Slash Pines, Longleaf Pines, Eastern White Pines.
  • “The big oak tree” on the golf course side of the Clubhouse is about 145-150 years old. This live oak tree was planted in the 1850’s.
  • Magnolia Lane extends from the entrance gate to the clubhouse. The 61 large magnolia trees that line both sides of the 330-yard road date to the late 1850s.
  • Founders Circle is at the base of the flagpole in front of the clubhouse. Two plaques there honor the Masters’ founders: Bob Jones and Clifford Roberts.
  • There are three dedicated bridges at Augusta National: the Sarazen Bridge at hole No. 15 — to honor Gene Sarazen’s double eagle there during the 1935 Masters, the Hogan Bridge at the No. 12 green — to honor Ben Hogan’s then record score of 274 in 1953, and the Nelson Bridge at the No. 13 tee — to honor Byron Nelson’s performance on holes No. 12 and 13 when he won the 1937 Masters.
  • The Crow’s Nest provides housing for amateurs during the Masters Tournament. It has room for up to five players.
  • The Champions Dinner is for members of the Masters Club, those who have won a Masters Tournament, and is hosted by the defending champion on Tuesday of Masters week.
  • Ike’s Pond is named after General Eisenhower. The three-acre Pond is manmade, has a dam and is fed by a spring.
  • The Par 3 Fountain is next to the No. 1 tee on the Par 3 course. This Fountain has a list of Par 3 contest winners, starting with Sam Snead’s win in 1960.
  • The Record Fountain was built to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Masters. It is located left of the No. 17 tee and displays course records and Masters Tournament winners.
  • The 10 Augusta National Golf Club Cabins are located on the grounds of Augusta National and provide lodging for members and their guests. One of the cabins is named the Eisenhower Cabin because the Club built it for President and Mrs. Eisenhower for their visits to Augusta National.
  • The tournament was not played during the years 1943, 1944 and 1945 because of World War II. To help with the war effort, turkey and cattle were raised on the Augusta National Grounds.
  • No amateur has ever won the Masters.
  • No one has ever won the par three tournament and the Masters Tournament in the same year.
  • You cannot apply for membership. You can only be invited.
  • The first African-American member was admitted in 1990.
  • Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and former amateur standout and now Senior PGA Tour player John Harris are the only pro golfers who are members.
  • Avid golfer Dwight (Ike) Eisenhower is the only U.S. president to have been a club member. Ike’s Pond occupies 3 acres near hole No. 9 on the par-3 course, a nine-hole layout that is the site of the traditional Par 3 Contest on Wednesday of Masters week.
  • The club was conceived by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts. Their vision was to establish a national membership for the club. They took a $70,000 option on a 365-acre property called Fruitland Nurseries in Augusta, Ga. Jones and Alistair Mackenzie of Scotland designed the course. Construction began in 1931. The course opened in 1932 with limited play. Formal opening was January 1933.
  • The club is open from mid-October to late May.
  • Each hole is named after a plant or shrub. For example, No. 3 is called “Flowering Crab Apple.”
  • The tradition of members wearing green jackets began in 1937, when jackets were purchased from New York’s Brooks Uniform Co. The idea was that Masters patrons easily could see members who would have accurate information.
  • The Crow’s Nest is a 30-by-40-foot room atop the clubhouse available as living quarters for as many as five amateurs during The Masters.
  • Chairmen: Billy Payne, May 21, 2006-present; William (Hootie) Johnson, 1998-May 2006; Jack Stephens, 1991-98; Hord Hardin, 1980-91; William Lane, 1976-80; Clifford Roberts, 1934-76. Billy Payne began his tenure as the club’s sixth chairman May 21, 2006.
  • A Jack Nicklaus plaque, honoring the six-time Masters champion, is affixed to a drinking fountain between holes 16 and 17. An Arnold Palmer plaque, commemorating the play and contributions of the four-time Masters winner, is affixed to a drinking fountain behind the No. 16 tee.
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